List of Washington Nationals Opening Day starting pitchers

List of Washington Nationals Opening Day starting pitchers

For the Opening Day starting pitchers before 2005, see List of Montreal Expos Opening Day starting pitchers.

The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Washington, D.C.. They play in the National League East division. The team was known as the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 2004. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season.[1] The Nationals have used five different Opening Day starting pitchers in their eight seasons. The five starters have a combined Opening Day record of zero wins, 6 losses and 2 no decision.[2][3][4] No decisions are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game, or if the starting pitcher does not pitch at least five innings with the lead. The overall Opening Day record of the team is 2–6.

Liván Hernández holds the team record for most Opening Day starts with a record of 0–3. He also pitched one Opening Day start for the Montreal Expos, in which he received a no-decision. Hernandez is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Expos and the Nationals.[2]

As the Washington Nationals, the team played their home games at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium from 2005 to 2007; their only home opener there was a 9–2 loss in 2007 by starter John Patterson.[2] Nationals Park is the team's current field, and it was the site of the team's 2008 season opener, with starting pitcher Odalis Pérez on the mound in a game that the Nationals won 3–2 over the visiting Atlanta Braves.[5]


Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Nationals season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision for starter; Nationals won game
ND (L) No decision for starter; Nationals lost game
Game score with Nationals runs listed first
Location Stadium in bold for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Nationals


Season Pitcher Decision Final
Opponent Location Attendance Ref(s)[2]
2005 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández L 4–8 Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park 44,080 [6]
2006 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández (2) L 2–3 New York Mets Shea Stadium 54,371 [7]
2007 Patterson, JohnJohn Patterson L 2–9 Florida Marlins Robert F. Kennedy Stadium 40,389 [8][9]
2008 Pérez, OdalisOdalis Pérez ND (W) 3–2 Atlanta Braves Nationals Park 39,389 [5][10]
2009 Lannan, JohnJohn Lannan L 6–12 Florida Marlins Dolphin Stadium 34,323 [3]
2010 Lannan, JohnJohn Lannan (2) L 1–11 Philadelphia Phillies Nationals Park 41,290 [4]
2011 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández (3) L 0–2 Atlanta Braves Nationals Park 39,055 [11]
2012 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg ND (W) 2–1 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 41,176 [12]
2013 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg (2) W 2–0 Miami Marlins Nationals Park 45,274 [13]